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  • rancilio silvia double espresso tips

    hi everyone. my second post on this web site.

    i recently bought 2009/2010 rancilio silvia to make double espresso (that is the only type of coffee that i drink).

    are there any tips on getting the best possible double shot from this machine? i have digital scales, accurate to 0.1 gram, a heavy duty metal tamper and a gaggia MDF grinder (thinking to buy mazzer min next).

    any other tips? miminum warm up time? how many grams for a double shot to use? how long to pour (in seconds)? how many ml to extract for double shot? any other tips?

    i prefer not to make any internal modifications to my machine, i know those are also possible. the silvia double basket seems to only fit about 18 grams of ground beans (my gaggia classic would take about 19-20 grams, deeper basket it seems).

    if this has been asked before, i would appreciate a pointer to the previous topic.


    many thanks

  • #2
    Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

    The Synesso double ridgeless basket makes a world of difference on the Silvia!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

      Originally posted by 2E3B2C2C27242827490 link=1270444158/1#1 date=1270448606
      The Synesso double ridgeless basket makes a world of difference on the Silvia!!
      thanks, please tell me more - where to buy, how to use, what does it do over a standard basket? takes more coffee or something else?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

        Look up Randy Glass guides @ espressomyespresso.com
        Look up Gronking

        But FWIW, _my_ ritual:
        * 30-45 Minutes Warmup (or I cheat - lookup "cheating miss silvia")
        * Fresh beans, right grind
        * (Basket as per greenmans advice)
        * Fill basket to 2/3, tap on bench a few times
        * Fill again and scrape off to level
        * Tamp, nutating variety
        * Wait for boiler light to go out & a few more seconds
        * Flush ~30ml - the worst of the spitzing, steaming stuff
        * Lock in the group handle
        * Pre infuse (hit brew for 1/2 sec, wait a sec)
        * Pull the shot - should be a little bit drippy
        * Stop when blonding - hopefully ~60ml for doppio or 45ml ristretto
        * Flush, wiggle & sometimes backflush

        CoffeeParts and Di Bartoli (see sponsors list) have baskets and all the bits for MS Silvia.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

          Start with changing the basket. Synesso doubles are great - you can get them from Pullman <see sponsors on the sidebar. Wega triple basket is good too - packs a punch but be prepared to get through your beans quickly (might need a naked PF as the basket is quite deep - I forget, must check details on that one)

          Then refine your routine. If you do it enough times you will notice the subtle changes to the pour. Taste and readjust only ONE variable at a time remembering that you want a pour that takes approx 30 seconds from the time you flip the switch on til you flick the switch off. When you think you have a handle on the three big variables - grind, dose and tamp - then move on to the next step.

          Try time surfing (or move straight on to gronking or PID if your time and budget so allows). Time surfing is a bit of a blind way of pulling a shot, but its kinda better than nothing. I tend to pull shots about 45 seconds after the light goes off.

          Keep tasting as that is the best guide, really. No point pulling the perfect 30 second shot if you dont like how it tastes.

          p.s. a good tip that I learnt when I started was to look at the basket after youve knocked the puck out. If you see brown residue its a good indicator that youve overextracted.

          Keep us posted. Weve all been down that road before


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

            thanks. all good advice. i will experiment.

            btw the silvia double basket fits 18 grams (and a firm tamp to follow) so i am not sure why i need a different double basket to improve a double espresso (I stop at 50ml for a double shot).

            i use digital scales (to 0.1 gram) to weigh the beans every time so there is absolute precision and zero guess work, i can afford to do this at home. i am sceptical about a value of another double basket unless i wanted a stronger (triple?) brew - which I dont.

            but tapping of the double basket, on the side with tamper, after the firm twisted tamp, seems to help. i dont know why.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

              Originally posted by 707278754E6378757463110 link=1270444158/5#5 date=1270610725
              the silvia double basket fits 18 grams
              Not sure if its changed but the Silvia double used to be nominally 12g (what they actually fit is a different matter  ).  Using a standard 14g basket (such as the Synesso) is fairly universally recommended, Im a believer.  From memory, I think Alan Frew (CoffeeCo) did a blind tasting comparison and concluded the basket was the biggest difference in taste between the Silvia and HX level machines.

              Originally posted by 707278754E6378757463110 link=1270444158/5#5 date=1270610725
              use digital scales
              How much does a bean weigh ?    Some experienced users recommend volume gives better consistency than weight (different density beans?).  I do neither, just using dose, tap, dose & scrape fits my balance between consistency and effort at this stage in my journey.

              Originally posted by 707278754E6378757463110 link=1270444158/5#5 date=1270610725
              tapping of the double basket, on the side with tamper
               This was done to dislodge grinds clinging to the sides of the basket after tamping (particularly with non-fitted tampers) but I believe has fallen out of favour due to the possibility of fracturing the puck and increasing channeling.

              Originally posted by 707278754E6378757463110 link=1270444158/5#5 date=1270610725
              i will experiment
              8-)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                Originally posted by 72707A774C617A777661130 link=1270444158/5#5 date=1270610725
                i am not sure why i need a different double basket to improve a double espresso
                not all double baskets are created equal...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                  thanks. Good point about fracturing the puck and causing channelling. I best stop doing it.

                  Where in Melbourne can I see and buy the Synesso double ridgeless basket for Silvia?
                  Do I also need to buy a special spring to hold it in place in Silvia handle?

                  thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                    synesso basket, pullman tamper, digital scale, naked p/f and gronker here ;D

                    the weight varies between beans, but most of the time Im between 19.2 and 19.5gm per shot. Rarely do I go past 20, and Ive only dropped to 17.5 for the Monsoon Malabar. I measure every shot, and the first one in a batch will guide me for the rest.

                    gronking has to be one of the best things I did, and its pretty good for about $40! Gives me a much better consistency in pulling shots and steaming which, while not quite the same as PID, is pretty damn accurate. Especially when you consider PID is 10x that much for a minimal gain when making coffee only for myself.

                    I think my shots were OK with a silvia basket, but a synesso basket doesnt cost much and lets you pack a lot more coffee in for a richer flavour and a little more forgiveness. match it with a good tamper (pullmans sell the basket with the tamper to make sure it fits properly) and youll love it.

                    the naked p/f is what i use every day. good for diagnosing problems with tamp & grind, I use it all the time because I never get sick of looking at that magical funnel of liquid gold...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                      Out of curiosity - what temp do you pull your shots at Doug? Only $40 - Im very tempted. Time to go to Bunnings.

                      Hmm, not sure about Synesso basket in Melbourne - I bought mine off Pullman with my tamper. They come in a ridged and ridgeless and you will probably need a new spring. Try TalkCoffee in northcote? Call them first.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                        Originally posted by 464D57451A13220 link=1270444158/9#9 date=1270697242
                        gronking has to be one of the best things I did,
                        Gronk Il Magnifico !!!!

                        Originally posted by 5643514A4B47220 link=1270444158/10#10 date=1270708360
                        Time to go to Bunnings.  
                        Dont know if Bunnings have them - Jaycar have the Gronk Standard Issue (search for QM1602) but unfortunately the price has gone up to $50.

                        Originally posted by 5643514A4B47220 link=1270444158/10#10 date=1270708360
                        what temp do you pull your shots at
                        Im 102*C at the moment but the absolute value depends on where and how good is your thermocouples contact with the boiler.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                          update: I bought a double synesso basket, ridgeless, and a spring from the recommended supplier (via internet).

                          Fantastic results. The double shot is rich, creamy and tastes better than ever. I increased the dose from silvia max 18.0 grams up to about 21.0 grams in synesso double and a medium (5kg?) strength tamp. I also use WDM (needle stirring) but with new bigger basket I dont feel it give much of improvement (it certainyly does not harm it). I also bought Rocky doser grinder which resulted in noticable improvement over Gaggia MDF grinder.

                          I feel that Rancilio should make their baskets bigger, i.e. synesso size, for the future models, I dont understand why they persist with such small baskets for silvia.


                          thank you everyone for your advice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                            Good to hear youve had a positive result there acid rider, thinking of getting the synesso basket to use with my silvia as well.

                            Just a quick question though (and sorry if its been asked before), does the extra volume of coffee in the basket mean that it takes longer for the usual 30ml in 30 secs shot. Are there any changes youve had to make to your shot technique ie softer tamp etc.?

                            Thanks,
                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: rancilio silvia double espresso tips

                              Originally posted by 434455595E49050505300 link=1270444158/13#13 date=1276401326
                              Good to hear youve had a positive result there acid rider, thinking of getting the synesso basket to use with my silvia as well.

                              Just a quick question though (and sorry if its been asked before), does the extra volume of coffee in the basket mean that it takes longer for the usual 30ml in 30 secs shot.  Are there any changes youve had to make to your shot technique ie softer tamp etc.?

                              Thanks,
                              Paul
                              hi,
                              no still 50ml in ~30 seconds from double shot in synesso, from the moment to flick the pour switch on. It take about 8 seconds before you see coffee coming out, give or take 2, plus about 20-23 seconds of the actual pour time. Silvia does not have preinfusion.
                              You may find with a doseless Rocky that using WDM (needle-sturring) will improve the shot further. I have a doser Rocky which tends to shake up the grounds when you flick the level such that WDM does not appear to make a big difference to the shot quality. But it certainly does not harm it either. I weigh my beans every time (scales accurate to 0.1 grams) because at home I hate to waste the beans and I want consistency.

                              Comment

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